Chair: Ivo Aertsen
Annual Lecture International Journal of Restorative Justice - Time for a rethink: victims and restorative justice
Author: Zinsstag Estelle, University of Leuven
Title: The International Journal of Restorative Justice: an Introduction
A short presentation will be given on the objectives, concept and structure of the International Journal of Restorative Justice. Special attention will go to the participatory and interactive nature of the journal.
Keywords: Restorative justice – scientific journal - participation
Author: Aertsen Ivo, University of Leuven
Title: Running an International Journal, or How to Ensure Independent Research and Development
Under this topic, we would like to promote a debate on how in academia sufficient autonomy can be kept in an publishing environment where a relatively small group of commercial companies are more and more monopolizing publishing opportunities and processes. Our reflections are based on recent experiences with the commercial trade of our journal.
Keywords: Publishing – commercial trade – restorative justice
Author: Pemberton Antony , University of Tilburg
Title: Time for a Rethink: Victims and Restorative Justice
It is a great honour to deliver this Annual Lecture, in which I will argue for an overhaul of victimological perspectives on RJ.
Following Judith Shklar I find it is first crucial to distinguish doing justice and undoing injustice. Not two opposing poles of one dimension, but overlapping yet asymmetrical constructs. Justice is a particular and loaded virtue that often runs counter to the embodied, emotional, context-dependent experience of those suffering injustice. Justice has colonised the experience of injustice, leading to misunderstanding of the experience of injustice.
Such misunderstanding, crucially, also relates to the nature of victimisation itself. I would like to propose appropriating the term “ontological assault” for what is key to this experience: an assault on being. I will discuss implications of this, relying heavily on Susan Brison’s account of her own rape.
One of the upshots of this discussion is that in addition to the difficulties I have with the notion of justice, I find that the term “restorative” is too wedded to a metaphor of something that is damaged and needs to be brought back to its previous level of functioning. Instead I think processes of mediation and conferencing offer the resources to understand the process of undoing injustice – to any extent possible - as one that more fully embraces the enduring irreparability of victimisation, while recognising that this involves an idiosyncratic and contextual venture into the unknown.
Keywords: victims – undoing injustice - restorative justice